Review: Daredevil Reborn #4

Matt Murdock concludes "finding himself" and everything's all back to normal again.  Nice and tidy enough to make you wonder what the point was.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Daredevil Reborn 4

They say timing is everything.

If so then DC and Marvel should get a prize for releasing two of the most clichéd and boring comics in the same week. What’s even more surprising is how both issues are major ones for each company. Over at DC, readers got the unbelievably mediocre Flashpoint #1 while Marvel fans were stuck with Daredevil Reborn #4. Since the disappointing end of Shadowland, Daredevil has been on the decline. First the badly executed switch as Black Panther took over for Daredevil and then Daredevil Reborn, where Matt Murdock travels to a small town and, after trying not to get involved, decides to take on a corrupt sheriff’s department and a big time guns dealer. It’s like the comic book version of Cool As Ice.

Let’s take a step back before we get into why Daredevil Reborn #4 fails so miserably. The main problem I’ve had with this entire series is the deus ex machina factor. Matt Murdock needs something to give him hope and during his romp through America to find it, he manages to end up in the one town that’s not only filled with evil cops but evil cops who are working for an arms dealer with superpowers? Really? It kicked the entire series off with a sense of the ridiculous.

Daredevil Reborn #4 feels largely like Andy Diggle just gave up. In issue #3 the arms dealer Calavera, who used his spooky mind powers to make Matt Murdock believe his demons were coming to get him, shot Murdock in the head and kicked him off a construction crane into the water below. The first page of Daredevil Reborn sets the oh-who-cares-lets-get-through-this-already vibe that permeates the entire book. After all that’s happened to him Matt Murdock is fine. Apparently he twisted at the last second and avoided the bullet, even though his mind was so warped by Calavera he thought monsters were coming for him.

Suddenly we’re in the home of the blind kid we met earlier. Somehow Matt Murdock found his way there and into the bathtub. He asks the boy for help and by the following panel Matt’s all better with a small bandage on his head. Cue the by the numbers inspirational speech from the kid, the one that convinces Matt Murdock he needs to be a hero again, and we’re off.

Matt Murdock confronts Calavera who, like all smart businessmen, is trying to get the stupid hick sheriff’s to rob the ATF to make up for lot weapons. Murdock swoops in and beats everybody up then, when Calavera tries to use the mind power on him, we are actually forced to suffer through an “I beat my demons” speech from Murdock before he knocks Calavera out. Jump to New York City, where Murdock shows up in Foggy’s apartment and tells him he’s found a super keen place to restart their law practice and that he’s going to be Daredevil again and everything will be fine.

Do you see the pattern here? The total reliance on bad TV movie plot devices to tell the story. This was supposed to be the culmination of years of heartache for Murdock, the story that gave him a renewed lease on life and on being a hero. Instead we get motivational speeches and a limp story. The art from Davide Gianfelice is more of the same jagged lines and bizarre angles. His human form looks carved from old rocks and he has no sense of movement or style.

Either Andy Diggle gave up, stopped caring, or was trapped under something heavy so Marvel got a 13-year-old intern to write this junk. Regardless, it’s beneath Daredevil and an insult to Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Chris Claremont and all the writers who worked so hard to make Daredevil so good.